For the uninitiated, Black & Orange is a novel from Benjamin Kane Ethridge. An effort which was presented with the Bram Stoker award for Superior Achievement In a First Novel From the Horror Writers Association.
In Black & Orange Benjamin Kane Ethridge created an amazingly complex mythos. There's the Church of Midnight, a mysterious organization whose goal is to unite with the Church of Morning located in the Old Domain, a place separate from the real world and filled with horrors. And that just begins to scratch the surface.
November 30th, 2013 will see the release of Nomads (Black &Orange II) from Bad Moon Books.
In an effort to tide you over to the new novel, and just in time for Halloween, Benjamin Kane Ethridge and Bad Moon Books have released Reaping October: Stories from the Black & Orange Universe. Three distinctly different tales involving the people and creatures of the Old Dominion.
"Child Care" is a terrifying Halloween story told from the perspective of 10 year-old Mesheila. As a result, we get gems like, "Mom's going to a party tonight. She's going as a pirate wrench." I could see my 9 year-old grandson saying something like that. Left alone with her older brother, Mesheila comes face to face with a living Jack O'lantern with fangs and bloody eyes and an insatiable hunger. Great pacing in this one and by far my favorite of the three.
"The Cats of Delkilth" takes place in the Old Dominion. Sort of a tale about the birth of the Nomads, the upcoming sequel to Black and Orange. The cats in the story are described as "...black, the size of a domestic cat, with an orange mane. Fiery runes burned in their fur, lighting with power." I think artist Matt Dixon did a brilliant job of translating that description into the cover art for this book.
The third and final story is "All Other Days." Chaplain Cloth, a key player in Black & Orange, has inhabited the body of John Maghan of the Los Angeles Police Department in an effort to obtain a photo taken of him a number of years ago. "He just had to find that photo. The less about him in this world, the less human interference."
Three stories, each with a different perspective on the Old and New Dominions, the division and what you'll find there.
It certainly helps to have read Black & Orange before reading October Reaping. Although the stories in the later can certainly stand on their own, they are enhanced greatly by what you'll find in the original volume. I'm definitely looking forward to the next book in the series.
Black & Orange is available as a signed hardcover and trade paperback from Bad Moon Books and as an e-book from Amazon.com. Reaping October: Stories from the Black & Orange Universe is currently available as an e-book from Amazon.com.
I certainly wouldn't recommend these works for younger readers or the prudish, but if your up for something different, I can strongly recommend Black & Orange and Reaping October: Stories from the Black & Orange Universe.